HMRC forced to apologise for providing incorrect advice

The Revenue has come under fire by pensions experts for knowingly providing website users with incorrect advice via a flawed online tax relief calculator.

According to reports, the discrepancy, which HMRC has known about for two weeks according to a report by City AM, could have led top rate taxpayers to lose out on thousands of pounds of tax relief.

The news outlet explains that the “tapered annual allowance”, introduced in April 2016, limits relief given to top rate earners (those with an annual income over £150,000) to contributions as low as £10,000. If the full £40,000 allowance in 2015/16 is not used, the rules allow this to be carried forward and utilised in 2018/19.

The flawed calculator on HMRC’s website informs users they could not carry the tax allowance into the current year.

Speaking to City AM, former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb says: “It is totally unacceptable for an official government website to continue to operate when it contains blunders of this sort.”

“It is beyond belief that they are knowingly allowing taxpayers to get incorrect information from their website and potentially to make major financial decisions on the strength of dodgy data.”

A spokesperson for HMRC says: “We are sorry that the calculator isn’t working as it should in some cases. The calculator is no longer available as it is being updated.”

The case highlights the importance of consulting a tax specialist who will ensure that your business and personal tax affairs are structured in the most efficient way, and that your future tax liabilities are minimised, thereby maximising your wealth.

Our tax experts at Beavis Morgan are committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way. We will also deal with HMRC on your behalf, so you don’t need to.

For more information, contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.